Inside the race for Canada’s nuclear waste

28.02.2015 - Gordon Edwards

Inside the race for Canada’s nuclear waste
(Image by unattributed)

Some of your readers may be interested in viewing my presentation on Nuclear Waste Governance in Canada, presented in Salzburg Austria last September: http://ccnr.org/salzburg_2_2014.pdf .

Unfortunately, the author of the ROB article damages his credibility early on by making some baffling and inexcusable errors.

In particular, he asserts that he “knew” if the reactors at Chalk River were hit by nuclear-armed missiles from the Soviet Union, “the explosion would be the equivalent of a thousand, maybe a million, H-bombs”.

This is not only a preposterous statement in its own right – if the word “H-bomb” were replaced with “tonnes of TNT” it might pass muster – but it is also quite misleading, as the nuclear reactors would add virtually nothing to the explosive power of the bombs.

It is true that if a nuclear weapon explodes on a nuclear reactor the radioactive fallout will be greatly increased, because the contents of the reactor core will be vaporized and scattered far and wide; however the magnitude of the explosion will be unaffected.

In general, the core of an electricity-producing power reactor (quite a bit larger than the research reactors at Chalk River) contains more than a thousand times as much radioactivity as the fallout released by the Hiroshima bomb.

Nuclear physicist Sir Brian Flowers pointed out in his 1976 UK Royal Commission Report entitled “Nuclear Power and the Environment” that large parts of Europe would still be uninhabitable today if nuclear power had been developed and deployed throughout Europe before WWII, because nuclear reactors would not have been spare d from the intense bombing and sabotage that characterized that conflict.

Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., President,
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
53 Dufferin Road
Hampstead Quebec
H3X 2X8
(514) 489 5118 [office]
(514) 839 7214 [cell]

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